Between the Buried and Me: The Parallax – Hypersleep Dialogues EP

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Between the Buried and Me: The Parallax – Hypersleep Dialogues EP
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Between the Buried and Me: The Parallax - Hypersleep Dialogues EP
Progressive Metalcore
Metal Blade Records
April 12th, 2011
Release length: 30:02
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After an extenuous record deal with Victory Records, Between the Buried and Me finds a new home with Metal Blade Records in 2011 to release their latest effort, The Parallax – Hypersleep Dialogues EP. But, don’t let it fool you. While this release is three songs long and may lead the listener into thinking it’s an EP, the length of the release is definitely more along the lines of a full-length, clocking in at just over thirty minutes in length. Given the atmosphere-heavy The Great Misdirect, it seems the band has been maturing to a very Progressive version of Metalcore the likes of which not many bands can pull off, but also have been bordering the line of overkill. So, the main concern for many is whether that line was officially crossed this time, or if this is something completely different from their last effort.

The Parallax – Hypersleep Dialogues EP continues to border that line once again, but only with certain parts. Musically, the album comes off a much heavier release that doesn’t completely rely on Progressive atmospheres to sell it. The group manages to incorporate some more technical Metalcore approaches. The album starts off with a very atmospheric sound effect driven start before going into a more Metalcore track with some nice technicality that brings in the general atmosphere of the song. Once in a while through the song, the band breaks into a softer, more lighter Rock chorus that involves tamborines and clean singing. Near the end of the song, the band breaks out into an awkward sung, yet sounds spoken word, segment where a science fiction stance in the music is brought to life with vocals performed almost like a machine is speaking with them. Other then that, there are some random Progressive guitar passages and bridges to the song that sound great, but never truly seem to defy the flow of the song, and the band manages to keep the song rich for the entire eleven plus minutes that it exists.

“Augment of Rebirth”, however, is by far the most impressive track on the release. The song goes between a more traditional Metalcore sound, again boasting a decent amount of technicality, but also has some passages that sound more like if Dimmu Borgir were to do Metalcore. The more epic-sounding segments of the song that deal with intensity and speed are the most impressive of the track, and the slower, more Progressive elements are interesting, but ultimately feel a little tacked on at the end. Sadly, the closing track doesn’t bode so well either. While both of those other tracks have some decent Progressive elements that feel a little more restrained, but in a good way, “Lunar Wilderness” just finds the music to be repetative of “Specular Reflection” with a main atmospheric push coming from some keyboards and similar clean vocals as “Specular Reflection”, except this time the music is sloightly slower and has more cymbol crashes behind it. “Augment of Rebirth” is also not exempt from this, and after the first listen, the EP becomes rather formulaic and patterned.

Outside the obvious patterning issue, this EP also greatly suffers from the vocals. While some songs have segments where the vocals sound energetic an enthusiastic, such as about two minutes into “Specular Reflection”. Sadly, they don’t stay as energetic, and many times they feel rather bland, and come off like the vocalist is a little bored. Of course, when the music becomes heavier or “epic” sounding, like mentioned above, or happens to become lighter with clean singing, the vocals do pick up and become more energetic, as well as can show a nicer range.

But, despite it’s flaws, the song are definitely catchy, and that’s one of the things about the release that makes it work. Sure, the music may seem a little patterned, and the vocals, while a little intimidating, can be a little unenthusiastic, the music is definitely solid. Patterns and vocal issues aside, fans of Between the Buried and Me are sure to enjoy this album for what it is, as well as newcomers to the group, though it’s definitely not where those new individuals should start with the band. The Parallax – Hypersleep Dialogues EP isn’t the most impressive of the band’s discography, but it’s still worth looking into.

01. Specular Reflection – 11:21
02. Augment of Rebirth – 10:19
03. Lunar Wilderness – 8:22
Overall Score: 7.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Metal Blade Records.